BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) hopes to enhance exchange and cooperation with their counterparts in other countries to ensure effective and coordinated relief work in cases of natural disaster, a Defense Ministry spokesman said here Friday.
"When facing major natural disasters, enhanced international cooperation is a must," Geng Yansheng, the ministry's new spokesman, told a press conference two days ahead of the 83rd founding anniversary of the PLA, on Aug. 1.
Noting the PLA has played an important role in domestic disaster relief operations and in anti-terrorism work, as well as in international peacekeeping and humanitarian missions, Geng said the Chinese government and PLA have delivered about 80 million U.S. dollars of humanitarian relief supplies to 19 countries since 2002.
The Chinese army has also dispatched professional rescue teams consisting of engineer troops, armed police medical staff and experts from the China Earthquake Administration to help with disaster relief missions at both home and abroad, Geng said.
The newly appointed spokesman said the PLA has actively participated in international exchange and cooperation related to disaster relief work.
He said Beijing will host with Thailand next month an ASEAN Regional Forum seminar on regulations for armed forces participating in disaster relief work.
A forum on non-traditional security will also be held in October in Shijiazhuang City, in northern China's Hebei Province, with ASEAN members, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to send delegations, he added.